Definition of hyena in English:


Syllabification: hy·e·na
Pronunciation: /hīˈēnə


A doglike African mammal with forelimbs that are longer than the hind limbs and an erect mane. Hyenas are noted as scavengers but most are also effective hunters.
  • Family Hyaenidae: two genera, in particular Hyaena, and three species
More example sentences
  • Although similar in appearance to hyenas, African wild dogs are nevertheless true wild canidae.
  • Golden jackals, hyenas and even leopards are present but very rarely seen.
  • I have been filming for 14 years now, working with hyenas, leopards, and jackals.


Middle English: via Latin from Greek huaina, feminine of hus 'pig' (the transference of the term probably being because the animal's mane was thought to resemble a hog's bristles).

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